The IJIS Factor
Blog Home All Blogs
The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: information sharing  Corrections  NIBRS  CJIS  cybersecurity  interoperability  justice-to-health  mid-year briefing  courts  CTA  FBI  Global  ijis  NG911  standards  standards coordinating council  Alliance Partner  APCO  APPA  CAD  community corrections  corrections technology  CPAC  DHS  Geospatial  HIPAA  iCERT  Internet of Things  IoT  ndex 

Data Interoperability Enabling the Future of Emergency Patient Care

Posted By Tim Grapes, Thursday, May 24, 2018

The IJIS Institute and its Member companies recognize the value of widespread adoption of data exchange standards to improve emergency and disaster management. The Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Suite of standards, published by the Standards Development Organization (SDO) OASIS, enables data sharing in support of multi-jurisdictional emergency support functions. One of these functions is emergency patient care and tracking.

The IJIS Institute is helping the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) to advance state, local, and federal adoption of three OASIS data exchange standards. Kevin McGinnis of NASEMSO highlighted the proposed effort as, “addressing a critical flaw in the nation’s efforts to respond quickly and effectively to disasters involving casualties and responders from multiple jurisdictions.” 

Government agencies have their own budget cycles and decision-making; they purchase or build their own emergency and disaster support systems which do not share data. During local and mass casualty incidents, first responder agencies from multiple jurisdictions and disciplines devolve to manual, paper-based, slow, and error-prone processes causing confusion, delays, and added stress for patients, families, and response organizations. 

The good news is that the standards needed to solve this problem are ready. A few years ago, while leading a national Practitioner Steering Group under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, we established the EDXL roadmap, defined the requirements, and participated in the OASIS standardization process. Not only are the standards ready, OASIS and Health Level 7 (HL7) have jointly released them for use between emergency practitioners and care facilities, such as hospitals. 

Testing these data exchanges was successful and the operational benefits have been proven during live, large-scale, multi-jurisdictional patient movement exercises. But a standard isn’t a standard unless it is adopted and used. So why has adoption been sluggish, and what’s new? 

The practitioner group that originally drove standardization has re-energized the effort to support adoption and implementation of real-time emergency patient data exchange through government grant guidance and purchasing practices. The project will demonstrate cost-effective patient tracking, hospital preparedness, family notification and reunification, and enable emergency hospital evacuation through local data exchange development. 

Operationally, it will demonstrate local data exchange running automatically behind the scenes, freeing key resources for more urgent tasks, while improving preparedness and response. It will allow jurisdictions and professions across the entire emergency medical continuum of care to continue daily use of their own locally-operated systems and automatically scale to support mass casualty incidents and events with no additional user training.

These objectives will be accomplished through cross-jurisdiction governance, outreach and education, a third-party standards conformance program, pilots, demonstrations and live patent movement exercises, and transition planning for operational support. Ultimately, our plan creates a repeatable model and standards roadmap that will be endorsed by SAFECOM, and applied to subsequent standards development and adoption priorities such as the OASIS Hospital Availability Exchange (HAVE). This crawl-walk-run approach delivers immediate local value while streamlining subsequent efforts.

The IJIS Institute and NASEMSO call for the support and participation of industry in the adoption and use of the OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients (TEP V1.1) standard.

For more information or to get involved in this effort, contact me at


Tags:  EDXL  OASIS  OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients  patient tracking  standards 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Information Sharing and Safeguarding (IS&S) Environment Playbook

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Thursday, November 12, 2015

The IJIS Institute led the development of the Information Sharing and Safeguarding (IS&S) Environment Playbook to address the question, “if we need to create an IS&S environment and have the resources, what do we do next?”

This question got the Program Manager of Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) leadership and the Standards Coordinating Council (SCC) members thinking about the lack of guidance for communities of interest from different missions (including all levels of governments and industry) to standup their own IS&S environment. At the request of the PM-ISE leadership, the IJIS Institute was asked to review the U.S. Digital Services Playbook and develop something similar for the IS&S environment. Within a few weeks the IS&S Environment Playbook was born and now resides on the SCC’s website at

The IS&S Environment Playbook used the U.S. Digital Services Playbook as the foundational framework and extends on the key principles required to create and sustain an IS&S environment. The Playbook identifies 15 key plays based on field experience, best practices, and standards identified by the government and the private sector.

The IS&S Environment Playbook is meant to be flexible for all types of users. It is functional at a starting-from-scratch level; however, the Playbook is also intended to allow users at any point in their process to pick up the document, identify where they are in the process, and then move forward. For organizations in beginning stages, the plays serve as a roadmap and incorporate the tried and tested processes of more experienced communities. For more advanced users, the plays that are before a point of entry still may have relevance to a development effort and may contain ideas and actions to improve a development process. In addition, the IS&S Environment Playbook is iterative. Users may complete a play and then have to go back to it as more is learned later in a development effort. Users may have a phased development approach that brings the project back to a certain point in the plays as phase milestones are crossed.

This IJIS Institute developed the IS&S Environment Playbook for all kinds of mission partners (such as law enforcement, public safety, intelligence, homeland security, and many others) who want to get together to address the IS&S challenges and develop communities of practice that can use and reuse these plays to advance IS&S mission. Considering this broad range of users with varying missions, the Playbook promotes the application of privacy and civil liberties controls, data transparency,  and responsible information sharing as stated in the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding ( in the creation of an IS&S environment.

The IS&S Environment Playbook can be accessed at and feedback is definitely encouraged! You can submit your feedback via email at or complete the structured feedback form online at

Tags:  information sharing  interoperability  playbook  standards  standards coordinating council 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Standards-based Victim Notification Services Success

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The IJIS Institute posted a press release today that announces the successful enhancement of the information sharing capabilities of five states’ Victim Notification Systems (VNS): Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, and Alabama. The projects were funded by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grants, including the most recent three that were performed under a subcontract agreement between the National Criminal Justice Association and the IJIS Institute. The National Information Sharing Standard for Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification provides a standards-based approach for all states to create or enhance VNS and, ultimately, provide better services to crime victims.

The IJIS Institute acknowledges the significant contributions of the following IJIS Member companies involved in these implementations of the victim notification standard who contributed to the improved information sharing and services to victims: Appriss, Microsoft, Open Networks, and URL Integration.

There is already evidence of the impact the National Information Sharing Standard for Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification implementation is having on VNS effectiveness. The press release features some really great quotes from stakeholders involved with IJIS in this project, and they are really worth a here they are!  This is truly information sharing making a difference, and showcases IJIS and IJIS Member capabilities and the successful collaboration of government and industry. 

Larry Arrington, a chief systems architect working with the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, said of the implementation in Alabama, “The NIEM-compliant County-Jail data exchange, which resulted from the National Information Sharing Standard for SAVIN project with IJIS, has given the state of Alabama an information exchange vehicle to collect jail inmate and booking data for the first time ever. This data will allow victims to register for offenders at the county level, and receive custody status change notifications via email, SMS text, or interactive voice response phone calls. This would not have been possible without the assistance of the IJIS project team.”

“The assistance that the North Dakota Criminal Justice Information Sharing Program (ND CJIS) received from IJIS provided the opportunity to enhance our court victim notifications. Specifically, our most noteworthy accomplishments were:

  • Ability to triage urgent notifications vs. less time-sensitive notifications: The timing on notifications for urgent messages is now near real-time, which ensures victims receive prompt and clear notification of cancelled and rescheduled hearings. Non-urgent notifications are held, consolidated, and released once a day.
  • Consolidating messages regarding disposition and court events: Previously, the data was often repetitive, omitted or confusing for victims. The aggregation afforded by the enhancement provides clear and user-friendly notifications.
  • Enhanced quality assurance detection and correction: The enhanced system provides program administrators with timely notification on various system failures throughout the data transfer process. This has resulted in quick detection of missing or invalid code values. The resulting intervention has improved data entry at the source, notification specificity, and our vendor’s ability to interpret court data.

Unfortunately, prior to this project, many victim witness coordinators would not refer victims to use the court notifications due to the delayed, confusing, repetitive and overly generic notifications. The reactions we’ve gotten from victim witness coordinators since this project have been positive. We anticipate that we will see a dramatic increase in the number of users within the next year due to the increased referrals and outreach made possible by these improvements.

ND SAVIN’s mission is to provide victims and other concerned individuals access to timely and reliable criminal justice information. The enhancements support the mission of ND SAVIN, specifically relating to the court process, statewide.” –Heidi Smith, SAVIN Program Manager, State of North Dakota

“The partnership that the Montana Department of Correction (DOC) has had with the IJIS institute has resulted in a very positive impact to our agency relative to Crime Victim Notification. The ability to receive an acknowledgment from our victim notification provider gave us more than a verification they received notification information; it gave us the ability to see how they interpreted our notification information and make changes that provided more accurate notification messages to the victim.” –John Daugherty, CIO, Montana Department of Corrections

“The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority has dedicated time and resources to creating a multi-jurisdictional, cross-discipline, statewide information sharing environment using the Global Standards Package. The technical assistance provided by the IJIS Institute enabled our state to implement a standards-based information exchange for SAVIN while providing our public safety stakeholders with first-hand opportunity to realize the benefits of adopting and implementing Global standards. This newly implemented automated exchange virtually eliminates the potential for human error and missed notifications and can be replicated to meet county needs.” –Mike Carter, State of Illinois

“The enhancements to the SAVIN system not only allows us to provide more timely information but also improve access to additional vital information that we were not previously able to share. This initiative with the IJIS Institute has strengthened our SAVIN system allowing us to provide improved services to the victim community in the State of Indiana.” –Brent Myers, Director of Registration and Victim Services at the Indiana Department of Correction

Tags:  IJIS  information sharing  SAVIN  standards 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)